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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  November 14, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PST

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and ford. we go further, so you can. >> why are goods being held up at ports all across america? "60 minutes" went to have a look. >> the cargo has nowhere to go. we've got to get a workforce in the warehouses and the trucking industry that are complementary to all this cargo that is-- that's coming in right now. >> there is a lot of finger- pointing. >> yes, there is. >> the truckers blame the terminals; the terminals blame the shippers; the retailers blame the truckers and the shippers. how do you get that contentious group to sit at the table, stop pointing fingers, and actually clear out this backlog? ( ticking )
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>> this divide is cultural. >> andrew sullivan has been an influential and controversial conservative voice in america for more than 30 years. he told us that today, he fears the republic itself is threatened by the rigid tribal politics of the left and the right. >> we can fight over arguments, but not debate each other's good faith or character, or dismiss people because of their race or sex or whatever. we can leave all that behind and be citizens. ( ticking ) ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> often as we hear bands play, we rarely glimpse bands at work; much less the biggest band that ever was. well, teleport to 1969, and meet the beatles. ♪ ♪ ♪ director peter jackson went deep, sifting through dozens of hours of never-before-seen film, allowing the world an intimate look at the beatles in studio,
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and an intimate listen to every conversation. >> left his home in tucson, arizona. ( ticking ) >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm bill whitaker. >> i'm anderson cooper. >> i'm sharyn alfonsi. >> i'm jon wertheim. >> i'm scott pelley. those stories and more, tonight, on "60 minutes." ( ticking )
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>> bill whitaker: you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout-- or maybe you should. millions of dollars' worth of holiday presents and other goods americans have ordered are stuck on giant container ships, waiting for a space to unload at the ports of los angeles and long beach. call it a case of freight expectations. there's so much cargo arriving from asia that some of it has been diverted to other ports in the country. it's led to an epic traffic jam that no one seems able to untangle, and it's revealed deep flaws in america's supply chain. what started as a shop-from-home binge during the pandemic has had lasting effects. retailers warn these holidays will be marked by empty shelves, higher prices, and lost jobs, unless the backlog is cleared. we wanted to see what it's like in the busiest ports in the country.
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but first, we had to get on board. space at the long beach docks is so tight that when a slot opened up at 1:00 a.m., the port pilots wasted no time. they sped off into the dark. and so did we, following captain james dwyer up a rope ladder as he climbed aboard to guide the giant ship, the "ever linking," to an open berth. >> captain james dwyer: we're inbound for l.a. berth 405. >> whitaker: steering the ship through the harbor, he told us pilots are handling twice the usual number of vessels. >> dwyer: right now, we're in-- just in our slow turn to port, to get onto the main channel. >> whitaker: with the port glittering in the distance, captain dwyer from the bridge, slowly turned the 100,000-ton ship around. >> dwyer: stop engine, bill. >> whitaker: we'll back up? >> dwyer: yes, sir, we're going to go stern-first.
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bow stop. >> whitaker: we found this feat of parallel parking, unparalleled. >> dwyer: push easy. >> whitaker: for the last few yards and inches, captain dwyer stuck his head out the window to guide the behemoth in by sight. >> dwyer: can we let go of the tug line aft, let go of the tug line, easy, easy. >> whitaker: it turns out docking a ship the size of three football fields is the easy part. how about that! getting the goods from here to store shelves is proving to be a lot more daunting. it used to take two days to get cargo off the docks. now, it takes nine. to see why, we took to the air with ryan petersen, c.e.o. of flexport, a technology company that buys and sells cargo space. look at how packed this is here. >> ryan peterson: yeah, totally packed. >> whitaker: we flew over the sprawling ports of los angeles and long beach-- 40% of all u.s.
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imports come through here. we saw stacks of marooned containers, dormant cranes, loaded rail cars sitting idle. the country's busiest ports packed to the gills. and out at sea? more than 80 ships stretched to the distance-- a new record. they used to pull right in. now, they can wait weeks. petersen told us this backlog has been building since the start of the pandemic. is it getting worse? >> peterson: it's definitely getting worse. it's as bad as it's ever been right now. right there, do you see all those blue cranes? there's no ship-- >> whitaker: that makes no sense. >> peterson: that's what-- that's what i say. it makes no sense. until you realize, hey, the yard is totally full. see how high those stacks are? totally jammed up. >> whitaker: so, when you see this, what-- what does this say to you? >> peterson: i think a lot of businesses are at risk, if they can't get their products in-- in time for the holiday season. and of course, it also means consumers are going to pay really high prices for
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everything. >> whitaker: so this is what inflation looks like? >> peterson: yeah, this is inflation first-hand. >> whitaker: the problems at the ports have cascaded across the country. so we followed the supply chain, from the choked ports of l.a. and long beach to rail yards in chicago. along the way we found chaos, finger-pointing, huge profits, and massive losses. and everywhere, frustration. bobby djavaheri's frustration was palpable when he lifted his warehouse door to show us inside. so, what-- what should this look like? >> bobby djavaheri: yeah, you-- you, right here, you wouldn't be able to walk in here. i mean, we got boxes all the way to the ceiling. this would be fully full. >> whitaker: so what do you think when you see it like this? >> djavaheri: it's unbelievable. there's never been a month that's-- that's-- that's empty-- ever. the fact that christmas is around the corner and it's empty, it's shocking.
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>> whitaker: djavarheri runs yedi houseware, he imports household appliances from china. he told us his goods have been delayed for six months. now, he has thousands of orders he can't fill, and his shipping costs have soared from $2,000 a container to as high as $25,000. he blames this crisis on the ocean carriers. >> djavaheri: i call them pirates of the sea. they're 100% price-gouging, and no one's done anything about it. >> whitaker: it's not just market forces? >> djavaheri: no. no, i-- i really don't buy it. it's price-gouging, and it's someone taking advantage. >> whitaker: and it's hurting your business? >> djavaheri: yeah, it's hurting my business, and many other people's businesses. >> gene seroka: there's too much coming in through the u.s. supply chain, and it's not leaving the port fast enough. >> whitaker: so that's why you've got these ships backed up here? >> seroka: that's right. >> whitaker: gene seroka is the executive director of the l.a. port. he told us the entire system has been overwhelmed by the tsunami of orders flooding in from asia.
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who is making money off of this? who is benefiting from this backlog? >> seroka: liner shipping companies will make record profits this year, again. they're booking more cargo than ever before. there's a supply/demand issue. >> whitaker: so the price just keeps going up and up? >> seroka: prices skyrocketed on these trans-pacific trade routes. there's money being made. >> whitaker: this month, the world's largest shipping line, maersk, reported record profits of $16 billion-- up 68% from last year. the ocean carriers-- most headquartered in europe or asia- - say demand for cargo space keeps rising. they blame a shortage of truckers at the port. take an empty in, take a full container out. where is this falling apart? >> matt schrap: in the fact that we, because of the booking systems, have restrictions on the type of container that you can bring in. >> whitaker: matt schrap, of the harbor trucking association, told us there's no driver
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shortage at the ports. he says it's the antiquated booking system that's gumming up the works. schrap told us, normally, truckers make an appointment to return an empty container before picking up a full one. but with so little space at the ports, there are new restrictions on even the color of container that can be returned. truckers can wait hours in line only to be turned away because there's no room. some of the terminals will say that the no-shows of your drivers-- 50% of the time they don't show up. how do you explain that? >> schrap: well, we make appointments because we don't know sometimes until the day of, whether or not we're going to be able to return an empty container back into that marine terminal. and then all of a sudden, the day of, they say, "sorry, we're not taking any more rust-colored containers." so it's just-- you know, it's just-- it's a game of whack-a- mole, literally. >> whitaker: the result? lots like this, full of empty containers sitting on chassis, the undercarriage that holds the container and attaches to a
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truck. >> schrap: without a chassis, you cannot move those containers off of dock. and the majority of chassis are sitting under empty containers, strewn around california. >> whitaker: so, the chassis are necessary to move the full containers out of the port? >> schrap: absolutely. >> whitaker: but most of these chassis are now being used just to hold empty containers. >> schrap: that's correct. >> whitaker: this is the definition of a bottleneck. >> schrap: absolutely. >> rick woldenberg: people are ordering early and... >> whitaker: that's not the only choke point. in chicago, we met rick woldenberg at his family's toy business, learning resources. every year, he imports toys from china and brings them here by rail. he told us, this year has been a nightmare. how long is it taking to get the product from los angeles here? >> woldenberg: i'd estimate that the domestic lead time is 45 days. and that's unbelievably slow.
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pony express could have gotten it here faster. >> whitaker: woldenberg told us he tried to avoid the backlog by placing his christmas orders in may... >> woldenberg: it's a toy in it for christmas. >> whitaker: ...only to hit a monumental snag in chicago. there was so much cargo at the rail yards, that his containers got stuck at the bottom of a pile for nine weeks. he told us it was like having his toys held hostage. the kicker? the rail line charged him for "storage." this, on top of paying $30,000 for a container from china-- ten times what he paid last year. >> woldenberg: if that were as bad as it was, that would still be horrible, but it gets worse, because we get penalized for storage. and that's where it becomes the theatre of the absurd. so, the $25,000 to $30,000 is the market gone berserk, but penalties are a punishment that is unconscionable. >> whitaker: so, wait a minute.
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your-- your cargo is being held up? >> woldenberg: right. >> whitaker: for nothing you have done wrong? >> woldenberg: correct. >> whitaker: you can't go pick it up? >> woldenberg: correct. >> whitaker: but you have to pay for it to be stored? >> woldenberg: correct. >> whitaker: the rail yards told us it was all due to congestion. rick woldenberg told us he paid almost a million dollars in storage fees in september alone. >> whitaker: can you afford this? >> woldenberg: no, i can't. it's impossible to absorb this kind of expense. so we had to raise our prices. these penalties are gratuitous. they're not incurring extra expenses because of this. >> whitaker: it sounds like you're saying they're charging you extra because they can. >> woldenberg: sure feels like it. >> whitaker: now, with inflation the highest in 30 years and the holidays fast-approaching, there's a flurry of plans to break the logjam.ka who runs the l.a. port, says
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he'll fine the shipping lines for any cargo that sits on the docks more than nine days. and last month, president joe biden announced the ports had agreed to work round-the-clock. but it hasn't had much effect. >> seroka: we typically work about 19 hours a day here. it's that 3:00 to 8:00 a.m. shift that we've added, and tried to get others to work with us during those times as well. >> whitaker: so you might be working 24/7, but the warehouses are not. >> seroka: that's right. >> whitaker: so they have no place for these goods to go, after they get off the ship at 3:00 in the morning. >> seroka: and there, you've just diagnosed the problem. the cargo has nowhere to go. we've got to get a workforce in the warehouses and the trucking industry that are complementary to all this cargo that is-- that's coming in right now. >> whitaker: there is a lot of finger-pointing. >> seroka: yes, there is. >> whitaker: the truckers blame the terminals; the terminals blame the shippers; the retailers blame the truckers and the shippers. how do you get that contentious group to sit at the table, stop pointing fingers, and actually clear out this backlog?
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>> seroka: that's been the toughest part. we haven't moved the needle yet, but it's not for a lack of trying. and we're going to have to just double down. >> whitaker: the whole supply chain mess has put a spotlight on glaring deficiencies in u.s. infrastructure. flexport's ryan peterson says there's no quick fix, and the $17 billion in the infrastructure bill for upgrading america's ports may not be enough. >> peterson: see, singapore alone is building a $20 billion container terminal right now. >> whitaker: how did we get to this? i mean, i've seen the ports in rotterdam and in hong kong, and they are light years ahead of us. >> peterson: one problem with the u.s. system is, we-- the ports are owned by the cities that they're in. and ultimately, the capital expenditure for building terminals, for dredging, for, you know, for investing in these ports, comes down to decisions made at a local level. you know, this is a national infrastructure. it's to serve the entire country. so, there's a real role for
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federal government to come in and step in. >> whitaker: the white house has put a top-level task force on the problem, but other than twisting arms and wrangling concessions, there's not much it can do in an industry dominated by private companies, foreign shipping lines, and local port authorities. and no one we spoke with expects a christmas miracle. ( ticking )
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>> scott pelley: andrew sullivan has been an influential and controversial voice for more than 30 years. he's a conservative author, editor and blogger. as a british-american, his style combines the perception of an outsider with the devotion of a native son.
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when we met, at his home on cape cod, we found sullivan anxious about the future of the republic. too many americans, he told us, are no longer the citizens that the founders were counting on. >> andrew sullivan: the american constitution was set up for people who can reason and argue and aren't afraid of it, and then reach compromises. the whole thing is designed that way. well, if you're in a tribe, and all that matters is the victory of your tribe, and you have all the truth, and your other tribe has none of it; and you have all the virtue, and the other side has none of it; you can't behave that way. you can't make it work. this country came to the point where we had violence in the usual peaceful transfer of athuge warning to how unstable our system can be, if we remain tribalists in a system that's supposed to be designed for reasonable citizens.
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>> pelley: you know, we wring our hands about the strident nature of politics today. but hasn't it always been that way? >> sullivan: oh, yeah. there's a lot of what you might call rough and tumble, sharp rhetoric. and that's healthy. what's not healthy is when that isn't just retained and kept in the political area, but becomes personal, becomes something you bring to the supermarket, becomes something you bring to thanksgiving dinner, becomes something that permeates everything. and that separation between politics and life is what we're losing, and that's a terrible thing to lose. >> pelley: andrew sullivan, 58, grew up in east grinstead in rural, southern england. he won a scholarship to oxford, inical s ired byvard british conservative michael oakeshott. >> sullivan: and he defined
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conservatism as, really, a defense of what is. a love of what you already have, and fear that it could all disappear. a sense of the fragility of the world, and the importance of being pragmatic. not having some ideological abstraction you want to force onto reality, but understanding reality as something that can give you occasions for change, which we do need. but also warnings for excessive change and excessive radicalism. >> pelley: in 2006, you wrote a book called "the conservative soul." what were you saying? >> sullivan: i was saying that conservatism had lost its way. because it had become too sure of itself. it was full of hubris. it believed it had the answer, the truth; became intolerant of liberals and of liberalism, and it became hardened by religious fundamentalism, which brooks no compromise, either.
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so, it broke the conservative virtues of humility, skepticism, doubt. >> pelley: in the book, you talk about rescuing conservatism. how do you go about that? >> sullivan: you wait for these terrible passions and the current cult-worship of a human- - individual human being, donald trump. you wait and hope that will pass, so that we can get back to the pragmatic process of governing reality. and that's not what we're engaged in now. we're flying from reality. we're inventing abstractions and ideologies. we're fighting each other. we're demonizing each other. the system can still work. it's we who are broken. >> pelley: the ideas of tolerance, reason, and debate came to sullivan early in life, when he realized he was conservative, catholic, and gay.
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you have written that you first acknowledged being gay while taking communion. >> sullivan: yeah. i always, as a kid, had an intense spirituality. and, as it welled up in me that i wasn't like other boys, the only person i thought i could take it to was god. so, he was the first person i came out to. just, "please, god," i didn't even have the word for it. but just, "help me with that." that's why, when people ask me, you know, "how can you be openly gay and catholic?", my response is, "i'm openly gay because i'm a catholic. because i know god loves me. and i know that god would want me to tell the truth about myself. >> pelley: is that dichotomy, catholicism and homosexuality, the reason that you can hold two competing ideas in your head at
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the same time? >> sullivan: well, i think it helps. one thing about coming out early and being honest about that, is that seeking truth and clarity becomes a habit, and you get a liberation from that. so, i said the truth, i thought the worst would happen, and i'm okay. so why can't i tell the truth about other things, or why can't i just ferret it out? >> pelley: andrew sullivan began "seeking truth" in america in 1986. he needed a job, and the left- leaning "new republic" magazine offered him an internship. in five years, he was the editor. sullivan was in a hurry, because he expected to die. he was diagnosed with h.i.v. in 1993. >> sullivan: the thing about that experience was that, as you took care of people you loved, who were dying very young in-- and this is what people forget-- in really horrible circumstances-- medieval
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tortures: blindness, sores, lesions, neuropathy. the humiliation of it. and you know, as i was doing that, that that's going to be me. that's why i wrote the book "virtually normal: the case for gay marriage," because i thought i only had a few years left. and if i wanted to contribute something, i would try and nail down the ironclad argument for marriage equality before i died. >> pelley: but your argument at the time was that same-sex marriage should be a conservative goal. >> sullivan: well, it should be, shouldn't it? why would supporting gay men in relationships not be conservative? why would helping foster responsibility to take care of each other not be conservative? of course, these are conservative values. >> pelley: sullivan married his husband, aaron tone, in 2007. therve bn six books, including as
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compilation of his full-throated campaign for war in iraq which he now regrets. recently, in his blog, the weekly dish, and on his podcast, sullivan's weighed in on black lives matter and on critical race theory, which says racism is systemic and perpetuates inequality to this day. >> sullivan: here's what i think is good about it. i think we should be absolutely vigilant about police abuse. and we've seen it. we've proven it to be racially targeted in some places-- not all places. i think we've also too often whitewashed our past; whitewashed the true horrors of what it was to live in the segregated gulags of the south during slavery. in another sense, however, one
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of its key arguments is that the oppression of non-white people is the true, core meaning of this country. now, i think it's one important part to understand this country, but i don't think it's the most important part. and i don't believe that it's an accurate description of america today. i do think we've made enormous strides. i do think our racial panorama is much more complex and dynamic than it used to be. and i don't believe this country's fundamentally evil and needs to be dismantled. >> pelley: another controversy about race has followed sullivan for nearly 30 years. back in 1994, as editor of the "new republic," he ran an excerpt of the book, "the bell curve," which implied african americans, genetically, have lower i.q.s. the excerpt ran 10,000 words. sullivan printed rebuttals that ran 19,000 words.
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hicor airg the debate at all. scholars have since discredited the book. sullivan has defended it. you have written that the book has "held up," that the book was "brilliant." >> sullivan: the data is still there. we don't know. and i think it's been unfairly presented. the book is agnostic about the mix of genes and environment in terms of intelligence. and that goes for everyone. we don't know. >> pelley: but this raises a question in the viewer's mind: does he believe that african americans are inherently less intelligent than white people? >> sullivan: absolutely not. there's no evidence for that. >> pelley: why was this an important debate to have? >> sullivan: that's a very good point, scott. i'm not sure we should, to be honest with you. the debate was going to happen, regardless. and i thought it would be
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helpful to have it put out, in-- in all its form; both the case for, and then all the cases against. i thought that was a responsible way to respond to the emergence of this book and this piece. and i may have made the wrong call, but i did it-- i did it in good faith, and i did it because i think it is always better to air this stuff than to suppress it, however feelings may be harmed. but i think if i were presented with that thing today, i wouldn't. i'll be perfectly honest with you, i wouldn't. i think the harm outweighs the good. >> pelley: he doesn't mean he's giving up on debate. he told us, too many newsrooms these days pander to the left and right, and are intimidated by political correctness. >> sullivan: when i ran the "new republic," it was a constant internal war. people felt passionate about subjects. one would write one week in one position. another one would write the next week against it. and people would be fascinated by this internal struggle.
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i love that. i hate this feeling i'm reading the church encyclical every week or every day, and it's telling me how i need to be perfectly woke or how i need to be perfectly "trumpy." liberal democracy is better defended if it rests on formal civic moral equality. >> pelley: if the stakes for america seem personal in sullivan, it helps to know he had to fight to be american. for 22 years, the u.s. banned citizenship to those with h.i.v. he argued against the ban, which was lifted in 2010. proof again, he says, of what can come of patience and reason. >> sullivan: we can fight over arguments, but not debate each other's good faith or character, or dismiss people because of their race or sex or whatever. we can leave all that behind and be citizens, arguing, reasoning. "deliberation" is what the founders called it. if we're not like that, this
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system will fail, as it is already failing. >> pelley: so, what gives you hope? >> sullivan: well, i would say there's a difference between optimism and hope. i'm not particularly optimistic, given the trends that we're seeing. but hope's different. hope is a sense that grace can happen. you never know what's around the corner. maybe there'll be something in the future-- a leader, a figure, or there must be a sort of groundswell of people, saying, enough of this. enough of this. the noise, the rage, it's deafening, and we're better than this. ( ticking ) >> welcome to cbs hq presented
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( ticking ) >> jon wertheirm: it's january 1969, and the beatles are unrecognizable from the wide- eyed mop-tops who appeared on the "ed sullivan show" just five years prior. their popularity is unrivalled. they've stopped touring, and fame is exacting its price. now comes a self-imposed stress: they've given themselves three weeks to record 14 songs that they'll play to a live audience, all the while trailed by cameras. the astonishingly intimate footage was recently extracted from a london vault and placed in the capable hands of filmmaker peter jackson. his resulting three-part documentary series, "get back," drops thanksgiving weekend on disney+. it adds considerable light and joy to what was always considered to be the beatles' darkest period.
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you might say, jackson took a sad song, and-- well, you know the rest. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> wertheim: often as we hear bands play, we rarely glimpse bands at work, much less the biggest band that ever was. well, teleport to 1969, and meet the beatles. ♪ ♪ ♪ you're the first person to look at this with fresh eyes in years and years. what was it like watching this footage? >> peter jackson: it was fascinating. and after 50 years, you'd have every right to believe that everything with the beatles had been talked about. every bit of film had been seen, every bit of music had been heard, that there was no more direbig-budget studio films like "lord of the rings,"
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and has spent the last four years hanging out with john, paul, george and ringo. >> jackson: suddenly, bang, out of nowhere comes this incredible treasure trove of fly-on-the- wall material, 52 years later. it still blows my mind. it actually, honestly still blows my mind. >> paul mccartney: so how about, how about changing around these two, and when you sing "don't you know it's going to last," we sing, "it's a love that has no past." >> wertheim: so, give us some historical context here. under what circumstances was this footage shot? >> jackson: they've lost what they loved as teenagers. they've lost being the four guys playing in a band. so, they're going to record a new album with songs that only-- that they're only going to play live. and they're not going to do any studio tricks. there's going to be no multitracking. and they had to-- they had to figure out where and how they were going to perform to an audience. >> mccartney: bom, cha, bom-bom. >> wertheim: as the beatles wrote and rehearsed, they allowed a film crew to capture
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every riff, both on guitar and in conversation. >> mccartney: i mean, corny is all right in this one, because what he's doing is corny. but see, that's the thing that will make it not corny, is if we sing different words. so it's-- "i'm in love for the first time." >> wertheim: the months'-worth of filming yielded only the forgettable 80-minute documentary, "let it be," released a year later, after the beatles broke up. a lifelong beatles fan, peter jackson had always wondered, what had happened to all those hours of unseen footage? >> jonathan clyde: so, here we are in vault number three. >> wertheim: his tolkien-like quest took him deep under the london headquarters of apple corps, the beatles' label. >> jackson: they just said, "we've got it all. we've got 57 hours of footage. we've got 130 hours of audio." and then they said that they were thinking about making a documentary using the footage. i just put up my hand and said, "well, if-- if you are looking for somebody to make it?
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don't-- please just-- think-- think of me." >> wertheim: back in new zealand, jackson began the ultimate binge-watch, screening this musical mother lode, frame by frame. given that any beatles fan will tell you that "let it be" comes shrouded in sadness-- forever associated with the great divorce in rock and roll history-- jackson braced for the gloomy worst. >> jackson: i was watching, i was waiting for it to get bad. i was waiting for the narrative that i'd believed over the years to start happening. i was waiting for the arguments. waiting or the discontent. waiting for the misery. and, you know, it didn't happen. i mean, it shows-- you know, it shows issues. it shows problems. but-- but any band, any time, has tho-- has those-- has those problems. this is not a band that's breaking up. these are not guys that dislike each other. that's not what i'm-- what-- what we're seeing here. that's not what was being filmed. >> john lennon: yeah, but the
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way i was playing it, it was starting on f. >> wertheim: here's what was being filmed: the four liverpudlians in their late 20s, working collaboratively, surrounded by a strikingly small, tight entourage. there's linda-- linda eastman, at the time-- taking photos. and, of course, yoko ono. as long as we're here, let's dispense now with that famous bit of beatles break-up mythology. the casual fan looking for "yoko ono broke up the beatles" might come away from this disappointed, i suspect. >> giles martin: yeah, i think that's a good thing, you know. i mean, yoko didn't break up the beatles. and-- and no one thing broke up the beatles. >> george martin: that's the original. >> giles martin: that's the original. >> wertheim: giles martin is the son of late beatles producer george martin. giles grew up in the beatles orbit, and has since remixed most of the band's albums. when peter jackson enlisted him for this series, martin plowed through all the hundreds of
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hours of audio and video. >> giles martin: you can see the cracks appearing. the one thing about this movie is that people understand why they were getting tired of each other. because you get the sense of what it was like to be in a room with them, which is such a privilege for all of us. >> wertheim: despite those cracks, the beatles alchemy remains potent. >> jackson: at one point, we have footage of paul mccartney sort of strumming on-- on his bass, which he uses as a guitar half the time. just sort of strumming. i think it's early in the morning, and they're waiting for john to-- hasn't arrived yet. he's just biding some time. he slowly finds the tune. ♪("get back") >> jackson: and so, you see this song kind of just be plucked out of thin air. >> mccartney: left his home in tucson, arizona. >> lennon: is tucson in arizona? >> mccartney: yeah.
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it's where they make "high chaparral." like, i can make sense of it. jojo left his home, hoping it would be a blast, pretty soon he found that he'd have to be a loner with some california grass. and now you think, okay, that makes sense, but it doesn't sing good. >> wertheim: the beatles had always been furiously productive, but this was the creative process in double time: 14 songs in 22 days. was that as much an absurd time pressure in 1969 as it would appear to be today? >> giles martin: yeah. this is the biggest band on the planet, saying we're going to do-- we're going to do our first show in three years, in three weeks' time. but we don't know where it's going to be, and we don't know what songs we're going to play. >> wertheim: as you listen to all the recordings for this project, what impressions did you arrive at, in terms of their chemistry? >> giles martin: my impression of it is that paul and john kind of knew that they were growing apart, and "let it be" was
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almost like a marriage that's failing, and they want to go back on their date nights again. >> wertheim: compounding matters, george harrison-- restless in his role and bristling under paul mccartney's driving ambition-- leaves the band after a week. >> jackson: it's the most low- key walk-out that you've ever seen in your life. it's just-- "i'm leaving now." "what?" "i'm leaving the band now." and then he goes. there's no fight, there's no argument, there's no disagreement. >> wertheim: john was in love with yoko and, in his words, he was mistreating his body. the band was competing for his attention-- not always successfully. >> lennon: when i was younger, much younger than today, i never needed anybody's help in any way. but now my life has changed in oh-so-many ways, a wop-bop- alooma, a-wop-bam-boo.>> mccey:n likehis indefinitelytney: seem
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can't. see, what you need is a serious program of work, not an aimless rambling amongst the canyons of your mind. >> wertheim: paul had, grudgingly, become the band's hall monitor, more lead than singer. george was persuaded to come back, but with the live performance approaching, the beatles decided they needed a change of scenery. they relocated to a makeshift studio in the basement of apple records. >> lennon: i dig a pygmy by charles hawtrey and the deaf aids. phase one, in which doris gets her oats. >> wertheim: a surge of fresh energy also came in the form of a keyboard player: billy preston, a 22-year-old texan brought in by george. ♪ ("get back") ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ what was the influence of billy preston on this album, and on the beatles at the time? >> giles martin: this hotshot comes in and they just had to suddenly improve their playing, because they had this force of nature in the room with them. and i think that's what he did. i think he worked as a catalyst and galvanized them so they could make the record and/or do the right performance. >> wertheim: it's an upbeat scene, at odds with how so many remembered that time, not least the principals themselves. but peter jackson's "get back" series doesn't just restore lost footage, or the beatles' music; it restores something much deeper. you mentioned memory before. i wonder, did their recollections match up with this-- this documentary evidence you were presenting them with? >> jackson: 50 years later, i'm
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talking to-- to ringo and paul. and their memory was very miserable and unhappy. and i'd say, "look, what-- whatever your memories are, whatever you think your memories are, this is the actual truth of it. and here, look. look at-- look at this." ♪("the two of us") ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> jackson: they started to realize what-- what this is. i mean, this is a-- an incredibly amazing historical document of the beatles at work. and four friends at work. and clearly, they're four friends. ♪ ("for you, blue") ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> wertheim: the looming
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deadline didn't exactly dampen the mood in the studio. ♪ ("dig it") ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> wertheim: and what of the culmination of these sessions, that live performance? the band simply walked up a few flights of stairs, and on january 30, 1969, played atop the apple offices. ♪ ("get back") ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> wertheim: no one at the time suspected it, but this would mark the beatles' final performance, before splitting up 14 months later. it took a half century, and an exacting director on the other side of the world-- who knows plenty about the power of myth--
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to revise the lore surrounding the beatles break-up and set the record straight. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ( ticking ) >> how a tech breakthrough revealed hidden beatles conversations. >> changing around these two... >> at 60minutesovertime.com.
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call 1.877.only.att. >> whitaker: next sunday on "60 minutes:" an idea whose time has come, and gone, and now may be coming again: supersonic passenger planes. we went to the start-up company boom to see how close we are. and, there was the test plane already on the hanger floor. >> blake scholl: that's it. >> whitaker: oh, wow. >> scholl: what i want is to be able to be anywhere in the world in four hours, for 100 bucks. now, that's not where we start. but that's the end goal. >> whitaker: i'm bill whitaker. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes."
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captioning funded by cbs and ford. we go further, so you can.
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captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org good evening, everyone. i'm oprah winfrey. welcome to a spectacular night here at the griffith observatory in los angeles. tonight you have a front-row seat to a very special one-night- only concert with adele. she's singing all the songs i know you want to hear, and new songs we've all been waiting six years for. and throughout the night, you'll see my conversation with adele was so much fun. she's as real, as down to earth as we all believe she is. but right now it is my great delight to introduce the 15-time grammy-winning icon, adele!

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